EAWs Quick Links (4-4-03)
Confirmed: Depleted Uranium Contaminates Ground Water
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 25, 2003 (ENS) - For the first
time, a United Nations research team has confirmed that depleted
uranium from weapons used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994 and
1995 has contaminated local supplies of drinking water, and can
still be found in dust particles suspended in the air. Depleted
uranium is used in armour penetrating military ordinance because
of its high density, and also in the manufacture of defensive armor
Saudi Firm Refuses Deal to Provide US Army with Trucks
RIYADH (April 1, 2003) Associated Press A Saudi
trucking company has refused a SR240.5 million deal to provide
the US Army with trucks for use in the war in Iraq. Abdul Aziz
Al-Tuwaijri, a contractor who was asked to mediate with the company,
said the deal involved providing 1,300 trucks. "I could have
made SR1.5 million in commissions, but life is not only about money.
This is a dirty war and we will not take part in it," he said.
US Studies Fuel Alternatives to Keep Army on the Move
CHICAGO (March 31, 2003) Financial Times The US
military needs to develop a new generation of vehicles to cut the
cost of fuel and reduce the Pentagons dependence on foreign
sources of oil. A gallon of Shell and ExxonMobil fuel used to power
tanks and aircraft, can cost hundreds of dollars per gallon. In
Afghanistan, where fuel was flown in by helicopter from ships in
the Indian Ocean, the cost was about $600 per gallon was about
$600. Fuel for the Iraq invasion costs about $150 per gallon. The
US Third Infantry burns an million gallons a day. Because an Abrams
tank gets only one mile per gallon, it costs about $60,000 to drive
an Abrams tank 400km from southern Iraq to Baghdad. Since 1998,
the US Army has been working with General Motors, Ford and Germany's
DaimlerChrysler on a new generation of war machines powered by
energy engines. Adopting hybrid technologies could shave 20 percent
off the costs of fuel for the Pentagon. Also in the works: fuel
cells to power on-board computers, global positioning systems and
three-dimensional mapping systems. GM expects to sign a contract
todeliver two hybrids and other diesel variants within about 18
months. Officials expect that "significant numbers" of hybrid trucks
could be in service by 2005.
US Secret Plan to Rule Iraq
(April 1, 2003) The US plans to rule Iraq through
an imposed regime consisting of 23 ministries, each headed by an
American with four Iraqi advisers appointed by the US. Cities
declared "liberated" by General Tommy Franks will be transferred
to the temporary government under the control of Jay Garner, a
former US general appointed to head a military occupation of Iraq.
Members of the interim government already have begun arriving in
Kuwait. Decisions on the government's composition appear to be
entirely in US hands, particularly those of Deputy Secretary of
Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Gen. Garner is reportedly annoyed that
Wolfowitz is forcing him to work with a number of controversial
Iraqis including Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the opposition Iraqi
US Leaks New Policy: First-Use of Nukes
The Bush Administration has threatened
to use nuclear weapons against any country that employs weapons
of mass destruction against the US or its allies. The nuclear threat
is contained in a newly-declassified six-page document, the National
Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. A classified version
of the strategy goes even further: it breaks a 50-year ban on pre-emptive
nuclear strikes. Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya were identified
as probably targets.
Dear George: Swear off the Nukes
You can send a letter to Bush demanding that he renounce the use
of nuclear weapons. Contact the Working for Change website.
Air Raids in Iraq Pose Health Risk
(April 1, 2003) AP Smoke from burning oil and bombing
damage in Iraq pose rising health risks to both soldiers and citizens,
while waterways are becoming fouled by untreated sewage, environmental
Ancient Iraqi Swamp Culture Drained But Not Dead
(April 1, 2003) AP A swath of southern Iraq has been
called many things: Land of the swamp people. Mother of all untapped
oil reserves. Scene of the worst environmental crime in history.
Cradle of civilization. Saddam's slaughterhouse. At the moment,
it is a 21st century battlefield.
Oregon Law Would Jail Protesters as Terrorists
PORTLAND (April 2, 2003) Reuters A proposed anti-terrorism
bill would jail street-blocking protesters for at least 25 years
in a thinly veiled effort to discourage anti-war demonstrations.
Senate Bill 742 identifies a terrorist as a person who "plans
or participates in an act that is intended, by at least one of
its participants, to disrupt" business, transportation, schools,
government, or free assembly. "We need some additional tools
to control protests," said Lars Larson, a conservative radio
talk show host who has stumped for the bill. The bill has met
strong opposition but lawmakers still expect a debate on the
definition of terrorism and the value of free speech before a
vote by the state senate judiciary committee, whose Chairman,
Republican Senator John Minnis, wrote the proposed legislation.
At War with the Environment?
A San Francisco Chronicle editorial criticizes the Pentagons
plans to overturn environmental laws that restrict its activities
on 25 million acres of bases, ports and airfields.
US Chemical Warfare Victims: More than 1 Million
(March 29, 2003) Nearly 30 years after the Vietnam war,
a chemical weapon used by US troops is still exacting a hideous
toll on each new generation.
The US sprayed the most toxic molecule known to science during
its prolonged military campaign in Vietnam. While the contamination
persists the US has offered no compensation nor has it acted to
combat the medical and environmental catastrophe that is overwhelming